Mr Anthony Archer had a knee lateral release arthroscopy under the care of Mr Curtis Robb, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon at Spire Cheshire Hospital
"I am a male in my early 60’s. Sport has played a major part in my life and lifestyle, indeed my general well being. Among other sports I played rugby union at a good standard from my school days up to my mid 40’s. After hanging up my boots I sought an alternative activity to keep fit and provide social and competitive opportunities. I joined Vale Royal Athletic Club (VRAC) and this played a major role in fulfilling both aspirations. Typically I run five days per week with a total mileage 35 – 40 miles. Some runs are social ‘easy’ runs with friends, others are structured training sessions with VRAC. I participate in races (up to marathon distance) on the road and I also race cross country. I also walk a lot and am a regular golfer. Both these activities were impaired with my knee problem.
"Progressively during a period of over 12 months I experienced increasing pain and decreasing mobility in my left knee. Although I continued to run, including completing the 2015 London Marathon, my movement and gait was painful and laboured leading to pain in other areas such as my hips. My knee pain also made walking freely very difficult.
"After struggling for many months I finally went to my GP who referred me under my health insurance policy to Mr Curtis Robb, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon at Spire Cheshire Hospital. He was the ideal consultant for my situation given his proven surgical expertise and background as an Olympic athlete.
"I had been to Spire Cheshire Hospital some years previously for a consultation on a lower back problem. This was ultimately resolved without recourse to surgery.
"The second consultation with Mr Robb was the most important. He was able to review the MRI scan as well as perform a physical examination. He explained that my knee cap was lodged out of alignment resulting in lack of flexibility in the joint and probable bone on bone friction. He described the ‘lateral release’ procedure via keyhole surgery that would allow my kneecap to regain its mobility and alignment. He stressed the importance of careful and committed post-operative rehabilitation to ensure strength was regained around the knee. Given my lifestyle he felt I was a good candidate for a successful outcome. Mr Robb was optimistic I could return to running but suggested that continued marathon running may not be a great idea! He advised that where possible I should run on surfaces more forgiving than the road i.e. grass or trails. The surgery was under general anaesthetic but did not require an overnight stay in hospital.
"Now, 12 months after the operation I am back to running five days/week totalling 35 – 40 miles. I have no pain in my knee and I have full flexion e.g. I am able to squat right down on my haunches. I have not quite reached my goal of running sub 20 minutes again for 5k but I’m getting very close (within 20 seconds). I continue to perform specific knee strengthening and flexibility exercises four days/week and try to run ‘off road’ as much as possible. Walking is also totally pain free. In short the outcome of the surgery has allowed me to resume my much valued active lifestyle.
"For anyone who is suffering from long term pain that has failed to decline over time and has not responded to physiotherapy I would strongly recommend they seek professional advice from a reputed specialist in that area of the body. I also believe it is important that the consultant understands the patient’s lifestyle and aspirations post surgery. All too often the general medical advice tends to be to stop the particular activity that causes pain. In my case ‘stop running’. In my view it is very important to consider the ‘holistic’ perspective on physical, mental and social well being. I fear if I had stopped running I would have been miserable, isolated, put on weight and been predisposed to other health problems such as diabetes of which there is a strong hereditary link in my family. I am grateful that Mr Curtis Robb provided both medical expertise and ‘empathy’ towards my desire and determination to continue my active lifestyle.”
Mr Curtis Robb, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon said, “Osteoarthritis of the knee cap most commonly occurs at the outside of the joint. It causes pain at the front the knee especially on stairs, when sitting, or when the patient stands up after being sat in a chair.
"In this scenario a lateral release can be a good option to take the pressure and pain away from the worn area. The procedure is performed by key hole surgery and as a day case.
"The patient can be up and about the same day enabling them to get back to their normal function quickly and as it’s minimally invasive, it allows the patient to rehabilitate their muscles early to make the most from the operation."
To make an appointment with Mr Curtis Robb, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon please call 01925 215 087 or click here to complete our online enquiry form.